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I woke up yesterday morning to lots of Scriptures going through my head based on a recent troubling conversation. I know this is long, won’t you prayerfully consider it? If not, I thank the Lord for the Word He has washed me with today.

Who are you to judge another’s salvation?

Do ye look on things after the outward appearance? If any man trust to himself that he is Christ’s, let him of himself think this again, that, as he is Christ’s, even so are we Christ’s. 2 Cor 10:7

So are you judging based on outward appearance or works vs. what someone has believed upon?  I am not speaking on whether we judge a wolf’s doctrine.  We are absolutely to judge their fruits, this is how we know them.   I am referring to one who was arguing with others recently using Loadship (lordship) doctrine. She was wrong and doctrine is always to be open for public examination for each and every one of us (Acts 17:11).   A few came to rescue her in their discomfort for her private words to be examined publicly.  It should be done with the right attitude, and a gentle manner, with an aptness to teach, but some are unwilling .

If someone ‘insists they believe, (her wording) you had better consider this before you insist they don’t (based on your own opinions and private interpretation of Scripture).

It’s HIS cross, HIS faithfulness, HIS deliverance, HIS free gift of eternal life, HIS sacrifice, HIS mercy, HIS love, HIS forgiveness, HIS promise, HIS righteousness, HIS right hand that upholds, HIS finished work.

It is not ‘your conviction’, ‘your desire’, or anything else ‘you’ do that proves you are saved.  It is only whether we have believed/trusted God’s testimony of His Son Jesus (1 John 5:9-13), this is the ONLY thing we can use to KNOW we possess eternal life.  Some may insist they are saved based on their feelings, experiences, etc., but ‘K’ (or ‘S.L.’) this is not how we can KNOW we have been delivered from death unto life.

If you have believed upon Him, continue looking into the perfect law of liberty before you forget who you are in Christ and make others stumble. Don’t let Satan subtly mislead you and cause you to also corrupt other’s minds from the simplicity that is in Christ (2 Cor 11:3-4)

But whoever causes one of these little ones who BELIEVE IN ME to stumble, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were thrown into the sea. Mark 9:42

pr 18-4Be careful what you say, and take heed also to what you hear from others (1 Tim 4:16).  Remember the childhood song, “Be careful little eyes what you see, be careful little ears what you hear”?

Salvation is a FREE GIFT (Rom 6:23). It is not based on works before or works after. It is not based on ‘proof of life’ as backdoor loadship teachers consistently use as whether or not one is saved. It is solely based on the TRUTH of the One that gives life FREELY — Jesus Christ, and whether we have ►believed on Him and what He has done for us.   If they are looking at their works to justify they have been saved, they are doing the very thing the false prophets were doing in Matthew 7.    Justifying themselves by their many ‘wonderful works’.

Dear Fruit Inspector — Again, if someone ‘insists they believe’ (as this one person worded it), we do not look at their works, lack of conviction, or sin and judge them to be unsaved. This is not how one is judged as to whether or not they are a Christian, do not use the ‘you will know them by their fruits’ out of context.   If so, you’d have been calling the Pharisees saved based on their works and how they looked outwardly (see Matt 23:27-28).

And maybe you have missed your own beam in your eye. We all need to be careful there, because if we’re honest, then by the criteria following (excerpts from the fruit inspector’s discussion), none of us is saved.   James tells us if we fail in just one area, you have failed in the whole law.

  • So WHAT PERCENTAGE of good works will prove that you are saved?
  • Is anything less than perfect acceptable to God?
  • How long must those good works continue?

I have watched the same person over the years judge people to be saved based on what ‘godly people’ they were, it inevitably will turn around and condemn her (I pray she will see before this happens).    I am sure if I was compared to the Duggards, Ray Comfort, Billy Graham, or even a Jehovah’s Witness or a Mormon, some might judge them to be saved before me.  But are any of them teaching a true gospel?  After a time she found that they were not, but sadly she still looks at the outward to prove whether one is saved or not.  We are only godly or good because of Jesus Christ being our righteousness, and because we have believed God’s testimony of His Son.  We become disciples by continuing in His Word.

The conclusion of the conversation? (I wholeheartedly agree with Ben’s summary comment to her and say Amen!).

“You can’t determine whether they are saved or not from their behavior.”

I hope ‘K’ might read this, and might also listen to this sermon by Yankee Arnold.

Why the Fruit Inspectors get it wrong

Are works the sign of a Christian?

They should be. This would be an outward testimony of our inward belief.  But we see many examples of exhortations in the Word of the need to add to our faith (2 Pet 1:5-9), and need to constantly affirm to each other that we maintain good works (Titus 3:8).

We also have many examples of carnal believers envying, striving, having divisions (1 Cor 3), behaving worse than a heathen (1 Cor 5:1), and none of the church having any conscience regarding this extremely immoral deed (1 Cor 5:2).  We see despicable behavior by believers in the book of James (specifically 2).  Look in the book of Galatians, Hebrews, 1 & 2 Corinthians, 1 John, etc., to consistently see that good works and fruit are not one bit automatic.

The False prophets of Matthew 7 had ►MANY WONDERFUL WORKS and had done themfalse prophets in His name. What were their ‘fruits’ then? This photo is something I did quite a while back regarding pastor’s misuse of this Scripture.

It was their DOCTRINE (which is always to be examined). Their justification was not the Father’s doctrine which is the one we contend earnestly for. For the Bible says that those who will to do His will, will know whether the doctrine is from the Father or not (Jn 7:17).

Are we to ‘dispute doctrine’ as one accused others of doing? Yes! Always (Jude 3)! It should be done with the Word, with the right speech and manner (Titus 2:7-8; 2 Tim 2:23-26). Another’s doctrine is to be examined by all the brethren and the person is to be named (Rom 16:17-18), and we should warn — the bad doctrine exposed to the light (Eph 5:11).

 Jesus warned of the LEAVEN of the Pharisees and Sadducees which was their ►doctrine (Matt 16:12).

 Timothy the elder was warned by Paul about THE doctrine.

 Take heed unto thyself, and ►unto the doctrine; ►continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both ►save thyself, and ►them that hear thee. 1 Tim 4:16

Saved from what? Delivered from what?

Being tossed to and fro by every wind of doctrine…

And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the ►edifying of the body of Christ: till we all come in the unity of ►the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: that we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with ►every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; but ►speaking the truth ►in love, may ►grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: from whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love. Eph 4:11-16

 IS OUR DOCTRINE OUR OWN PRIVATE DOCTRINE?

We have also a more ►sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye ►take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: knowing this first, that ►no prophecy of the ►scripture is of any ►►►private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost. 2 Pet 1:19-21 (see also 1 Cor 14, speaking God’s Word — Prophesying — is to be judged by all).

DOCTRINE OF THE WOLVES:

Jesus tells the wolves of Matt 7 that they ►do not do the Father’s will (which can be found in John 6:39-40 — believe on Jesus). This is their false doctrine, that they justify themselves by their wonderful works, but they never justify themselves by the fact they believed upon Him as their Savior.  Note that Jesus does not dispute their works.

1 Cor 13So if someone ‘insists they believe’ (as the one phrased it in order to fruit inspect unkindly), and you doubt what they say, the answer is, find out what they believe. 1 John 5:9-13 tells us only WE know and the Spirit knows, whether we have BELIEVED God’s testimony of His Son.

Who are you to judge another man’s servant? Why judge before it’s time? The LORD will make known the counsels of everyone’s heart one day.  So friend, again, if you doubt somehow their profession of faith, the answer is not for you to become an accuser of the brethren, (fruit inspector) nor pat yourself on your back for your many wonderful works as the wolves do in Matt 7. Shouldn’t the answer be to Feed them with His Word if they aren’t growing in maturity?

Feed His sheep if you love Him — help them grow (Jn 21).  Wash their feet (Jn 13). Or Preach the Gospel if you doubt they know Him? (Rom 1:16-17, 1 Cor 1:17-21).

And HOW should that gospel be preached? (See below). STOP THE FRUIT INSPECTION!! (At least the wrong kind of fruit inspection.  Get that beam out of your own eye.  Don’t trust in your own works to prove you are saved.  Because, I could venture a guess that others might judge you not to be saved by your gossiping, or meddling, or unkindnesses, or judgment of non-believers when we are not to do so.  None of us would pass muster.)

 And I, brethren, when I came to you, did not come with excellence of speech or of wisdom declaring to you the testimony of God.  For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified.  I was with you in weakness, in fear, and in much trembling.  And my speech and my preaching were not with persuasive words of human wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power,  that your faith should not be in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.  1 Cor 2:1-5

One told another he was a fruit inspector, (as if this was a good thing) — this one says he is a pastor. But we are not to be fruit inspectors in the realm of using that to gauge one’s salvation. We should absolutely hold each other accountable to maintain good works (Titus 3:8) which we SHOULD do. I recommend you read Preston‘s article on expreacherman.com, “Stemming fruit inspection”.

These Scriptures below are not solely to speak to the recent unkind and sneaky behind the scenes conversation (think on Gal 2:4-5), but also likely will cut both ways (as my friend Marian says frequently), because it is a two edged Sword. I pray it will instruct me also.

 THE WORD IS OUR BEST ANSWER (I don’t always remember and can use my own. How about you? Do you trust it to work vs. forcing your own way? If you are hearing someone, ask yourself, does what they say settle on you and give you food to eat or seed to sow? see Is 55:10-11)

But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them; and that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works. 2 Tim 3:14-17

DO WE ANSWER IN LOVE WITHOUT BEING RUDE OR BOASTING OF OURSELVES? (I have failed, have you?)

Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not ►love, I have become sounding brass or a ►clanging cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but ►have not love, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but ►have not love, it profits me nothing.

Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; ►love does not parade itself, ►is not puffed up; ►does not behave rudely, ►does not seek its own, ►is not provoked, thinks no evil; ►does not rejoice in iniquity, but ►rejoices in the truth; ►bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, ►endures all things. 1 Cor 13:1-7

IF WE CAN’T HOLD OUR TONGUE, WHAT GOOD ARE WE?… (Have you deceived yourself? I have. It is easy to think we are ‘good’ somehow or to elevate ourselves above another. I saw preference based on status in this conversation too sadly.)

If any man among you seem to be religious, and ►bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man’s religion is vain. James 1:26

CAN A BELIEVER SHOW NO SIGNS OF FRUIT?

But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, ►add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love. For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither ►barren nor ►unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For he who ►lacks these things is ►shortsighted, even to ►blindness, and has forgotten that he was cleansed from his old sins. 2 Pet 1:5-9

DO WE LOOK TO THE FLESH OR ANY OF THESE THINGS BELOW AS PROOF ONE POSSESSES ETERNAL LIFE?

►WORKS
►EXPERIENCE
►KNOWLEDGE OF SCRIPTURE
►THE WAY THEY LIVE THEIR LIFE
►PREFERENCE FOR THINGS OF GOD
►FELLOWSHIP WITH OTHER BELIEVERS
►KNOWLEDGE OF SIN (which comes by the law – Rom 3:20)
►CONVICTION OF SIN (the believing Corinthians in 1 Cor 5 certainly didn’ t have it, in fact, quite the opposite, they were puffed up about it and didn’t care.
►DISCERNMENT (lots of believers do not have it, but can get it – Heb 5:12-14)
►SPIRITUAL UNDERSTANDING (misusing 1 Cor 2:14)
►BIBLICAL KNOWLEDGE (sorry, comes by cooperation to apply one’s self to wisdom — Pr 22:17-21, to study with His approval in mind — 2 Tim 2:15.
►SORROW FOR SIN – again ref. 1 Cor 5.
►FEELINGS
►AWARENESS OF SIN

No, No, No, No, No, No, No, No, No, No, No, No, No, and No,…

≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡ 

Pastor Tom Stegall says this:

“The Bible actually teaches that it is possible for one who is eternally saved by God’s grace to:

1)   Commit idolatry and apostasy (1 Kgs. 11:1-10)
2)   Believe only for a while (Luke 8:13)
3)   Not continue in the Word of Christ (Jn. 8:31)
4)   Not abide in Christ (John 15:1-8)
5)   Become disqualified in the race of the Christian life (1 Cor. 9:24-27)
6)   Resist God’s chastening and correcting to the point of physical death (1 Cor. 11:30-32)
7)   Stray from the faith (1 Timothy 1:5-6)
8)   Shipwreck faith (1 Timothy 1:18-20)
9)   Fall away from the faith (1 Timothy 4:1-3)
10) Deny the faith (1 Timothy 5:8)
11) Cast off initial faith and follow Satan (1 Timothy 5:12-15)
12) Stray from the faith by loving money (1 Timothy 6:9-10)
13) Stray from the faith by professing false doctrine (1 Timothy 6:20-21)
14) Deny Christ and be faithless (2 Timothy 2:11-13)
15) Have faith overthrown (2 Timothy 2:14-18)

Listen fruit inspector, we do not live under a ‘different relationship’ with God than the OT saints. They were not ‘before grace’ as you stated. The just have ALWAYS lived by FAITH. Abraham was preached the same gospel. Abraham was before the law. See Gal 3:8 and Gen 12:3 and 15:6.

What does being a ‘new Creature’ Mean? (2 Cor 5:17)

Please reference James 1:18, 1 Pet 1:23, Rom 8:9. It is being born again of the incorruptible Seed, the Word of God. Again, it is solely about what Christ has done on the cross, not some proof of living by the law.

But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world. For in Christ Jesus ►neither circumcision availeth any thing, ►nor uncircumcision, but a new creature. Gal 6:14-15

I also recommend Pastor Tom Cucuzza’s series, understanding the two natures found HERE

Can we quench the Spirit?

Can we grieve the Spirit?

Can we resist the Spirit?

Can we do it our whole lives?   Yes! (And no, that does not ‘make us more powerful than God’ as you stated.)

Will we have consequences? I’ll discuss those in a moment.

This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the ►hearing of faith? ►Are ye so foolish? having ►begun in the Spirit, are ye now ►made perfect by the flesh? Gal 3:2-3

Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be ►swift to hear, ►slow to speak, ►slow to wrath: for the ►wrath of man worketh not the ►righteousness of God. James 1:19-20

 For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet ►offend in one point, he is ►guilty of all. James 2:10

 Therefore if there is any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and mercy, fulfill my joy by being like-minded, having the ►same love, being of one accord, of one mind. Let nothing be done through ►selfish ambition or ►conceit, but in ►lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Phil 2:1-3

Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show by ►good conduct that his works are done in the ►meekness of wisdom. But if you have bitter envy and ►self-seeking in your hearts, ►do not boast and lie against the truth. This wisdom does not descend from above, but is earthly, sensual, demonic. For where ►envy and ►self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing are there. But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, ►full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy. Now the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace. James 3:13-18

 If anyone teaches otherwise and does not ►consent to wholesome words, even ►the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to ►the doctrine which accords with godliness, he is proud, knowing nothing, but is obsessed with disputes and arguments over words, from which come envy, ►strife, reviling, evil suspicions, ►useless wranglings of men of corrupt minds and destitute of the truth, who suppose that godliness is a means of gain. From such ►withdraw yourself. 1 Tim 6:3-5

After some study, I saw this verse on a friends post… How true…

A perverse man spreads strife, And a slanderer separates intimate friends. Pr 16:28

A LITTLE LEAVEN 

This passage below is spoken to believers who have been unsettled by leaven that had been allowed in (those who were teaching about the resurrection was past) and it OVERTHREW THE FAITH of some. It was a CANKER in the body.  What is foolish and unlearned? Is it someone who uses the Word rightly, willing to discuss it with others without anger? Are they willing to hear? Are they thinking you are noble if you question what they say by using the Word(Acts 17:11)? Are they instructing (in understanding of the Word), using meekness, patience, gentleness? This is how you will know if they are serving the Lord at that time, or out of their own flesh (This is not how you will know if they are saved).

But ►foolish and unlearned questions avoid, knowing that they do gender ►strifes. And the ►servant of the Lord must not strive; but be ►►gentle unto all men, ►apt to teach, ►patient, in ►meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; and that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will. 2 Tim 2:23-26

In all things shewing thyself a pattern of good works: in ►doctrine shewing ►uncorruptness, ►gravity, ►sincerity, ►sound speech, that cannot be condemned; that he that is of the contrary part may be ashamed, having no evil thing to say of you. Titus 2:7-8

 AGAIN, FRUIT INSPECTORS, IF YOU THINK THEY ARE UNSAVED, WHAT IS THE ANSWER?

 Walk in ►wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time. Let your ►speech be ►alway with grace, ►seasoned with salt, that ye may ►know how ye ought to answer every man. Col 4:5-6

In the reverse, we do not judge another’s salvation as we see what appears to be this with others at times.

Some indeed preach Christ even of envy and strife; and some also of good will: the one preach Christ of contention, not sincerely, supposing to add affliction to my bonds: but the other of love, knowing that I am set for the defence of the gospel. Phil 1:15-17

WHAT ARE SOME THINGS THAT CAN HAPPEN IF WE DO NOT DO WHAT WE SHOULD DO AS BELIEVERS?

But these are some things we CAN lose or suffer.

  • Loss of Fellowship with God (1 John 1:3, 6,9)
  • Loss of Fellowship with others (1 John 1:3, 7)
  • Loss of Fullness of joy in or walk (1 John 1:4)
  • Loss of Rewards at the judgment seat of Christ (1 Cor 3:10-16)
  • Bring judgment upon ourselves in this lifetime (1 Cor 11:29)
  • Loss of our physical life (1 Cor 5:5; Acts 5:1-11, 1 Cor 11:30)
  • Loss of our health, be weak or sickly (1 Cor 11:30)
  • Loss of our testimony or justification before men (James 2, Titus 3:8)
  • We can shame the name of Christ for sins named among us (Eph 5:3).
  • Face chastening (1 Cor 11:32; Heb 12:5-6)
  • Face consequences for our actions (Gal 6:7-9)
  • Others face things because of us, including loss of knowing Christ. (Gal 6:9)
  • We can stray from the truth, and be dishonorable – (2 Tim 2:18-20)
  • Being ashamed at His appearing – (1 John 2:28)
  • We can lose the joy of our salvation (Ps 51:12)

So friends (or not), please don’t fruit inspect, you’ll end up accusing others and yourself, and that job is taken (Rev 12:10).

Paul warned three years for day and night in TEARS and said he was innocent from the blood of all.

Conversely, if we do not warn, are we guilty of someone’s blood?

If we associate with them, are we culpable for a young one stumbling, or worse, a lost person being given a back-loaded gospel?

Something to prayerfully consider.

Please see Pastor Yankee Arnold’s sermon on the same subject

See followup article on marking and avoiding, when to separate.